VIDEO captures the dramatic moment a Russian hypersonic missile destroys an ammunition depot in the west of Ukraine.
Moscow claims its deadly ‘Kinzhal’ rockets cannot be stopped by western missile defence systems.
Russia‘s defense ministry said: “The Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles destroyed a large underground warehouse containing missiles and aviation ammunition in the village of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region.”
Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the “unstoppable” weapon was deployed on Friday.
It is the first known time the new Kinzhal has been used in the conflict but it was earlier “tested” in Syria in war conditions.
Kinzhal missiles have an estimated range of 1,250 miles.
President Putin earlier branded the missile “an ideal weapon” that flies at 10 times the speed of sound and cannot be brought down by conventional air-defence systems.
The Kinzhal can is nuclear-capable but this was a conventional strike.
It has a range of 1,250 miles and has no match in the West, according to Moscow.
Konashenkov also claimed Russia had destroyed Ukrainian military radio and recon centres near the port city of Odesa using its Bastion coastal missile system, as reported by the Interfax news agency.
Last month President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia had stockpiled “unparalleled” hypersonic missiles.
And earlier this week Russia released chilling new footage of its 7,000mph Zircon hypersonic nuke missile that could hit London in five minutes.
The Kremlin had previously branded the deadly weapon, which carries a conventional or nuclear warhead, “unstoppable”.
Putin first announced the deadly Kinzhal missiles as part of a display of new Russian weaponry in 2018.
At the time, Putin said of the West: “They need to take account of a new reality and understand… [this] is not a bluff.”
Russia’s use of military weapons was a warning to both Ukraine and the West that it “has the means to escalate” the conflict further, a defence expert has claimed.
“The speed of the Kinzhal puts it beyond the reach of any Ukrainian air defence system and the launch platforms can launch from ranges beyond the reach of Ukraine,” Dr James Bosbotinis told the BBC.
He said hitting the “high-value target” of an underground ammunition depot “is sending the message to Ukraine that Russia has the means to escalate this conflict further … It’s also a warning to the west that Russia can of course, up the ante in Ukraine and the Kinzhal could also be deployed if the war escalated and drew in external powers”.
It was also “messaging” that Russia can hit targets in other parts of Europe.
Russia has the means to escalate this conflict further
Dr James Bosbotinis
Desperate Putin has recently been using more destructive weapons as the war wages on.
Last month Russia began dropping terrifying “vacuum bombs” that can explode enemy troops’ lungs near Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv.
It comes as four Russian cruise missiles yesterday slammed into a strategic airfield in the city of Lviv as Putin pushed his war west.
The warheads — weighing a combined 1,600kg and fired from more than 400 miles away — represented the first attack on the historic city.
It had been considered a relatively safe haven for diplomats, aid workers, refugees, and journalists.
Britain’s Armed Forces minister James Heappey said the strike showed Russia was now widening its bloody assault on Ukraine.
Air raid sirens sounded across Lviv shortly after 6am as the Kh-555 cruise missiles zeroed in from Russian bombers over the Black Sea.
Two were shot down by air defence systems but four smashed into two repair plants for aircraft and buses, less than four miles from the city centre.
A fierce blaze broke out and fire engines and ambulances raced to the scene. But a major loss of life was avoided because staff had left minutes before. Amazingly just one person was injured.
Fighting yesterday reached the centre of the besieged southern city of Mariupol, where up to 350,000 civilians have been stranded with little food or water.
Russia’s defence ministry issued a chilling warning claiming its forces were “tightening the noose” around the port city.
More than 130 people have been rescued following a Russian airstrike on a theatre in the city where hundreds were sheltering in a makeshift bomb shelter.
The city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko told the BBC that street fighting was preventing rescue teams from reaching hundreds of civilians trapped in the basement of the theatre.
Speaking early on Saturday, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said there was no new information regarding fatalities in the city, but said it was facing “the greatest ordeal in its history, in the history of Ukraine”.
In a video address, he called for urgent “meaningful, fair” peace talks.
He warned Moscow that a drawn-out war would lead to so many Russian losses that it would take generations for the country to recover.
“Negotiations on peace, on security for us, for Ukraine – meaningful, fair, and without delay – are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes,” he said.
Fighting continues this weekend in the southeast in Mariupol, in the southern cities of Mykolaiv and Kherson, and in the eastern town of Izyum.
The former head of Britain’s armed forces has backed calls today for Putin to face a “Nuremberg-type trial” similar to that faced by the Nazis after World War 2, following Russia’s “morally indefensible tactic” of attacking Ukrainian civilians.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Lord Richard Dannett said Russian troops had been “briefed really poorly” before going into Ukraine, and had been led to understand they would “be welcomed as peacekeepers and liberators”.
He added: “These young men are absolutely confused, many of them are very young, frightened, exhausted from weeks of exercising”.
Dannett said Russian troops, having made little progress in almost four weeks of fighting, have now resorted to the “morally indefensible tactic of shelling defenceless civilians”.